My Hemorrhoid Pain Was So Bad I Could See Why People Have Surgery
Most of us won’t need surgery for hemorrhoids. But it’s more common than you might think.
As a medical writer, my friends often share their health adventures with me. Now that Im in my 50s, the stories get more interesting. A friend told me recently he had hemorrhoid surgery. A high school swim and tennis coach, hes the picture of health. So, I was a bit surprised that he needed surgery.
But then I had a days-long bout of terrible hemorrhoid pain and could totally understand why lots of people get a hemorrhoidectomy. Just like it sounds, this is surgery to remove hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins either inside your rectum or on the anus. They show up right where poop leaves your body.
Ive been dealing with constipation a common cause of hemorrhoid pain my whole life. So going to the bathroom has never been fun for me. But recently, I felt throbbing pain not just when going to the bathroom. I was in pain when I sat, stood, or lay down. For three days.
I was in tears by the time I called my doctors office. I thought for sure I had something more severe.
Purpose Of Hemorrhoid Surgery
The purpose of hemorrhoid surgery is to remove external or internal hemorrhoids.
That said, even though hemorrhoidectomy is the most effective and definitive treatment for hemorrhoids, it’s linked to significantly more pain and complications than non-surgical therapies.
Therefore, the American Gastroenterological Association advises that surgery only be considered for a specific and small group of individuals.
Potential candidates for hemorrhoidectomy generally include patients who:
- Have tried medical and non-operative hemorrhoid therapies without success, or who cannot tolerate them
- Have grade 3, grade 4, or mixed internal and external hemorrhoids that cause symptoms
- Have symptomatic hemorrhoids along with an associated anorectal condition that warrants surgery
- Prefer surgery and have discussed therapy options with their referring healthcare provider and surgeon
When hemorrhoid surgery is scheduled, various pre-operative tests may need to be run, especially for patients undergoing general anesthesia.
Examples of such tests include:
Less Invasive Treatment Options
Hemorrhoidectomies are generally reserved for the most severe cases or when other, less invasive treatment methods have failed. These milder treatments include the following.
Getting regular exercise and not straining, especially when you go to the bathroom, can help you avoid irritating the hemorrhoids.
Diet is also a factor. Try increasing your fluid intake and reducing consumption of fats. Add more fiber with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You can also take fiber supplements.
To ease symptoms such as swelling, itching, and pain, you can try the following remedies:
- Topicals. Over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams, pads, or suppositories can ease symptoms. Look for products that contain hydrocortisone, lidocaine, or witch hazel.
- Baths. Relax in a plain, warm bath. A sitz bath that fits on the toilet seat can also be helpful. You can soak for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day.
- Oral medications. Use OTC anti-inflammatories and pain relievers.
- Stool softeners. OTC stool softeners can help you avoid straining when you move your bowels.
Be sure to read labels and use only as directed. If you have any concerns at all, review your OTC medications with your doctor or pharmacist.
Minimally invasive treatments to get rid of painful hemorrhoids include the following:
Surgical removal of hemorrhoids may be an option if:
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What To Think About
Sometimes, increased pressure on external hemorrhoids causes them to get irritated and to clot. This causes a lump to form. You may suffer from severe pain at the site of a clotted hemorrhoid.
A procedure to relieve the pain can be done in a doctor’s office or outpatient clinic. The doctor applies local anesthesia and then makes a small incision where the lump has occurred to remove the clot and reduce pressure and pain. The procedure works best if it is done soon after the clot has formed.
If the pain is tolerable, you may choose to wait to see a doctor. The pain usually goes away in a few days. After 4 or 5 days, the pain from cutting and draining the hemorrhoid is usually worse than the pain from the clot.
What Should You Know About Hemorrhoids
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are blood vessels located in the smooth muscles of the walls of the rectum and anus. They are a normal part of the anatomy and are located at the junction where small arteries merge into veins. They are cushioned by smooth muscles and connective tissue and are classified by where they are located in relationship to the pectinate line, the dividing point between the upper 2/3 and lower 1/3 of the anus. This is an important anatomic distinction because of the type of cells that line hemorrhoid, and the nerves that provide sensation.
What are the internal and external hemorrhoids?
Internal hemorrhoids are located above the pectinate line and are covered with cells that are the same as those that line the rest of the intestines. External hemorrhoids arise below the line and are covered with cells that resemble skin.
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
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How Do You Shrink External Hemorrhoids
There are many methods you can employ to shrink external hemorrhoids. To start, you can use topical based treatments, like Preparation H, hemorrhoid wipes with calming, anti-inflammatory ingredients, or natural extracts like coconut oil or aloe vera.
Applying these creams, ointments, or extracts directly to your external hemorrhoids can encourage them to shrink faster.
Sclerotherapy is another option for sufferers with constant flare-ups of external hemorrhoids.
Chronic external hemorrhoids are injected with a chemical compound that is designed to shrink them and help subside future flare-ups.
Your doctor can recommend additional non-operative or surgical treatment options to find which method is best for your hemorrhoid condition.
How To Treat Hemorrhoids And When You Should See Your Doctor
Hemorrhoids are an irritating, often painful condition that occurs when the veins around the anus or lower part of the rectum become swollen and inflamed as a result of too much pressure. External hemorrhoids develop underneath the skin around the anus, while internal hemorrhoids develop in the lining of the tissues.
Hemorrhoids affect about 1 in 20 Americans, and about half of adults over age 50 have them. Age is one factor as we get older, the supporting tissues in the rectum and anus become weaker and more vulnerable to pressure.
Pregnancy also can weaken these tissues, which is why pregnant women often experience hemorrhoids. Other potential causes include chronic constipation or diarrhea, straining during bowel movements and sitting on the toilet for extended periods. Also, frequently lifting heavy objects may increase the likelihood of hemorrhoids.
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoid symptoms vary depending on whether the inflamed veins are external or internal.
External hemorrhoids may cause itching and pain, especially while seated. Also, you may feel one or more tender lumps around the anal area. Scratching, rubbing or excessively cleaning the area can make symptoms worse.
With internal hemorrhoids, you may notice bright red blood when you have a bowel movement. Internal hemorrhoids are not usually painful unless they fall through the anal opening, called prolapsing.
How are hemorrhoids treated at home?
When to see the doctor
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Internal Hemorrhoid Itch Relief
Internal hemorrhoids are not often symptomatic. They are in an area of the anus that lacks sensing nerves. Internal hemorrhoids fall into one of four grades based on their severity.
In some cases, internal hemorrhoids become prolapsed.
This means they protrude out of the anus. Because it may be difficult to properly clean yourself after a bowel movement, prolapsed hemorrhoids can become irritated and lead to symptoms such as itching.
The most effective form of treatment for internal hemorrhoid itch relief is over-the-counter suppositories.
A suppository is a capsule-shaped medication that is inserted into the anus. These are primarily used to treat internal hemorrhoids because they are inserting into the anus.
They provide a barrier between the hemorrhoid and stool. Once inserted into the anus, the suppository begins to melt and disperse the medicated ingredients. The rectal muscles hold the suppository in place, pushing the medication further into the anal cavity.
When internal hemorrhoids become prolapsed, they can also be treated by the many of the same treatments for external hemorrhoids:
You can help prevent hemorrhoids by:
- Eating foods that are high in fiber
- Taking a stool softener or a fiber supplement
- Drinking enough fluids every day
- Not straining during bowel movements
- Not sitting on the toilet for long periods of time
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
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Enlarged Hemorrhoids: What Surgical Procedures Are Used To Treat Hemorrhoids
Sometimes the symptoms of enlarged hemorrhoids are so bad that treating the symptoms alone is no longer enough. Then there are various procedures that can be done to remove the tissue that is causing problems.
Hemorrhoids are normal cushions of tissue filled with blood vessels, found at the end of the rectum, just inside the anus. If they become enlarged, they can cause unpleasant symptoms. The most suitable type of treatment will mainly depend on the size of the hemorrhoids and the severity of symptoms. Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the procedure, side effects can occur some more severe than others.
Sclerotherapy and rubber band ligation are generally carried out as day procedures, without an anesthetic. If someone has grade 3 or grade 4 hemorrhoids, doctors often recommend surgery. A general or local anesthetic is usually needed for this. You then have to stay in the hospital for a few days, and stay off work for some time too.
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Do All Hemorrhoids Itch
While all hemorrhoids have the potential to develop symptoms of itching, all hemorrhoids do not necessarily always itch.
Internal hemorrhoids may itch when they become prolapsed or if mucus caused by internal hemorrhoids leaks from the rectum.
External hemorrhoids can cause itching because of the inflammation or if there are skin tags left behind.
Some patients are lucky enough to not experience the symptoms of itching with their hemorrhoids, but any type of hemorrhoid may come with this uncomfortable side effect.
Try a hemorrhoid supplement like HemRid to stop that hemorrhoid itching and burning for good.
The following are pictures of the stapled hemorrhoidectomy procedure.
- Picture of Hollow Tube Inserted into the Anal Canal and Pushing up the Hemorrhoids
- Picture of Internal Hemorrhoids in Anal Canal
- Picture of Suturing the Anal Canal Through the Hollow Tube
- Picture of Bringing Expanded Hemorrhoidal Supporting Tissue into the Hollow Tube by Pulling on Suture
- Picture of Hemorrhoids Pulled Back Above Anal Canal After Stapling and Removal of Hemorrhoidal Supporting Tissue
Hemorrhoid Medication: When Why And Which Ones To Use
A number of OTC creams, ointments, and pads that contain hydrocortisone or witch hazel are available to help relieve pain, swelling, and itching caused by hemorrhoids. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, doctors recommend using over-the-counter products for a week. If symptoms persist beyond a week, follow up with your doctor.
Creams and suppositories containing hydrocortisone can cause the skin to weaken and thin, so they should not be used for more than a week. If any of these creams cause a rash or dry skin around the area, contact your healthcare provider.
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Can You Die From Hemorrhoids
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Hemorrhoid Banding Plano Tx
Hemorrhoid banding or ligation is a non-surgical method of treating troublesome hemorrhoids. Rubber band ligation is the most widely used technique for the treatment of symptomatic internal hemorrhoids. Dr. Kenneth Brown uses the CRH ORegan System. This banding system is a very effective, minimally invasive procedure performed in his office that only takes a few minutes.
Regardless of whether the problem is internal or external, the hemorrhoids are fed by blood vessels above the internal hemorrhoids. The banding procedure will decrease the blood flow to the internal hemorrhoids, potentially reducing the size of the external hemorrhoids since they are downstream from the internal hemorrhoids.
We consider Dr. Brown to be a leader in the field of gastroenterology, and were proud that he has been using the CRH ORegan System since 2008. Due to his experience and expertise, I would recommend him to anyone needing non-surgical treatment of hemorrhoids.
Mitchel Guttenplan, MD FACS | Medical Director | CRH Medical Corporation
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What To Wear And Bring
On the day of your surgery, wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and avoid wearing makeup or nail polish. Leave all valuables, including jewelry, at home.
Make sure you bring your driver’s license, insurance card, and a list of your medications.
If you are staying overnight in the hospital, pack a bag the night before your surgery.
In addition to personal care items and comfort items , be sure to pack:
- Any medical devices you use
- Loose-fitting clothes to go home in, especially pants with an elastic waistband and cotton underwear
Someone will need to drive you home when you are discharged, so either plan for the person to accompany you to your surgery or to be on stand-by for your discharge.
How To Detect Internal Hemorrhoids
The most common sign of internal hemorrhoids is the presence of bright red blood on your toilet tissue after a bowel movement.
Because of the lack of nerve-endings inside of your anus, you should not have any pain with this type of hemorrhoid.
Other ways to detect internal hemorrhoids involve tests and procedures performed by a hemorrhoid doctor.
A digital examination is the first step in doctor diagnosis. Your doctor will insert a gloved finger into your rectum during a digital rectal exam.
The purpose of this is to feel for any unusual growths. If your doctor feels anything unusual, he or she will likely suggest further testing.
Because many internal hemorrhoids go undetected, your doctor may do a visual inspection to provide a thorough diagnosis.
A visual inspection involves inserting a scope into the lower part of your colon and rectum to look for any visible signs of internal hemorrhoids.
The scopes used are small, fiber-optic cameras that are inserted into your rectum through a small tube.
They give your doctor a clearer view of whats going on inside your rectum, and are essential in diagnosing hemorrhoids correctly .
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Medical Treatment For Your Hemorrhoids
Dr. Rivas develops personalized hemorrhoid treatment plans after completing a thorough examination. The treatments we recommend may depend on the type of hemorrhoids, as well as your symptoms. Initially, we may suggest lifestyle changes to ease your pain, such as increasing your intake of fiber and water to improve bowel movements and sitz baths to alleviate pain and discomfort.
However, when at-home treatments fail, Dr. Rivas may suggest a procedure to destroy or remove your hemorrhoids, such as:
- Rubber band ligation
- Infrared, laser, or bipolar coagulation
Laser Surgery For Hemorrhoids In Canada
Is there a developing Silicon Valley model in Canada? Not quite yet. 100%-disposable product for hemorrhoids. It is a banding technology invented by laparoscopic surgeon Patrick J. ORegan. It only takes a minute or less of the.
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The way Philhealth benefits will be paid will soon change for 22 surgical and medical cases from Fee-for-Service to Case-Rate Basis.
Rubber band ligation a rubber band is placed around the base of the hemorrhoid to cut off circulation and force the hemorrhoid to wither away within a few days Sclerotherapya chemical solution is injected near the blood vessel to cause scarring and shrinkage of the hemorrhoid Coagulation therapyelectricity , laser,
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Search Hemorrhoids Laser Surgery.
Planning a laser hemorrhoid surgery? There are quite a few options to get rid of painful hemorrhoids, particularly when someone has reached more advanced years.
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Surgery For Internal Hemorrhoids
Internal hemorrhoids are located inside the rectum and are not typically visible. They usually cause painless rectal bleeding and are graded 1 to 4 based on their extent that the swollen tissue bulges out of the anuswhat’s known as prolapse.
For internal hemorrhoids, the whole hemorrhoid is usually cut out and removed. This is called a conventional hemorrhoidectomy. Based on the surgeon’s preference, a scalpel, scissors, electrocautery , or a more advanced device may be used to remove the hemorrhoid.
A procedure called a stapled hemorrhoidopexy may also be performed to remove internal hemorrhoids. With this technique, no incision is made. Instead, the hemorrhoid is lifted and stapled back into the anal canal using a special circular stapling device.
A stapled hemorrhoidopexy may result in less post-surgical pain than the conventional approach. However, with the former, the hemorrhoids are more likely to return.
An additional option for internal hemorrhoid removal is a surgical procedure called doppler-guided transanal hemorrhoidal artery ligation . The surgeon inserts a special tube called an anoscope a few inches into the anus to locate each hemorrhoid’s arterial blood supply. This is called an anoscopy.
The blood supply is closed off in a process called ligation.